November 2022, Case Studies

Case study - Anna Grimaldi and Corey Peters

Two of the inaugural recipients of the Prime Minister’s Scholarship Internship Pilot, Paralympic long jump gold medalist Anna Grimaldi and Paralympic sit-ski gold medalist Corey Peters, agree coming to grips with combining work, training and competition needs flexibility from athlete and employer to make it work.

Anna swaps her long jump spikes for a hard hat and high vis vest as part of her internship role as a quantity surveyor with Naylor Love, based in Dunedin. 

“No one has done an internship programme for elite athletes before in New Zealand so we have all had to have flexibility at the top of our priority list,” says Anna. 

“Athletes in the workplace have some very different needs – we have to contribute in our work roles while still training many hours a day and, in some years, manage travel for international competition as well, making for long days.” 

Anna credits the team at Naylor Love for being extremely welcoming and accommodating as she came to grips with piecing it together in the workplace. 

“The whole process, from interview to starting my internship, was supportive and everyone has been committed to making the pilot work. 

“Naylor’s are teaching me so much and HPSNZ has been an important part of helping me work out the balance between my sport and work lives. 

“This is a fantastic way to test how I can make work fit with my training and how I can integrate more into my life in sport after the Paris cycle.” 

Corey has been excited by the opportunity to gain real world work experience in his chosen field of architecture. 

“I’m very fortunate my employer, CAM Architectural, is led by Carl Murphy, himself a former pro para snowboarder. 

“He totally understands the demands of managing work and training, and the flexibility to make both work to the highest standard.” 

Corey says the first few months of his internship brought home the steep learning curve he needed to come to grips with in terms of knowledge and information about the architecture industry. 

“It helped that when I started it was between seasons so my sport focus was gym based which was a good way for me to get into the work/sport balance.  

“During the domestic season I had to rebalance my time commitments to 30 hours on the snow and in the gym, and two days a week with CAM.” 

Anna and Corey are grateful to be a part of HPSNZ’s pilot internship programme which helps athletes segue from tertiary education to vitally important real world experience.

Anna Grimaldi doing long jump

About the Prime Minister’s Scholarship Athlete Internship Programme 

The success of the initial pilot programme in 2022 has resulted in the 2023 Prime Minister’s Scholarship Athlete Internship Programme providing 10 paid internships to support athlete wellbeing and preparation for life after sport. 

The internship provides an opportunity to help athletes sustain dual careers, and explore work options aligned to their interests and qualifications.  Participants work with the HPSNZ Athlete Internship Lead to create an internship that suits them.